When I was fourteen and still openly dreaming of being a writer, my 8th grade English teacher made the off-handed comment,
"There are no original ideas left. Everything you can think of has been done in one form or another."
In his defense, we were learning the three basic story conflicts.
Man vs. Man
Man vs Nature
Man vs. himself
(See, Coach Washington, I remembered. You should be proud.)
He didn't mean to imply that we were all doomed to repeating the same stories. But, that simple statement nagged at me for years. Was it possible ALL the stories of the world have already been told?
Mine hadn't, of course. My ideas were original... right?
Now, 15 (okay, 20 plus) years later, it still echoes in my mind. Especially in moments of insecurity when I have visions of agents rolling their eyes at my manuscript thinking,
" I've heard it all before."
So, what do you think? Have all the stories been told?
And if they have, is that a terrible thing? Don't we read romance with the full knowledge it will end happily ever after? Don't we read mystery with the expectation the perpetrator to be caught and justice be served? Don't we feel cheated if the killer gets away or the couple doesn't get together?
Do you take comfort in the same old stories or do you long for something with a twist?
Be sure you stop by next week for Tell Me Your Story Tuesday.
I am featuring the fabulous
She will be talking about her journey to publication as well as her latest release .38 Caliber Cover-Up. I can't wait!